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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hunter Cantrell (DFL)

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Distance Learning Extended

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

More big news from the Governor’s Office today. Here is what you need to know.

Distance Learning Extended Through School Year

Minnesota will be extending distanced learning through the end of the school year. Additionally, the state will be working on improving guidance to schools, and addressing accessibility equity challenges many students face. I know that this is very difficult for many of our educators, parents, and students; especially students in our graduating class of 2020. Our graduating seniors are the definition of resilience and adaptation, and from this crisis I am confident they will be prepared to go onto the next steps of their lives with a unique understanding of the world, and the power of community. Thank you to our educators, parents, school staff, and students for all the work you have done to adapt to the challenges of this public health crisis. My colleagues and I in the legislature must pass a bill to make sure that school hourly workers are still able to get paid during this time.

Stay at Home Order Eased for Certain Businesses

In consultation with public health experts, businesses, and labor organizations, Gov. Walz announced a plan to gradually and safely get 80,000-100,000 Minnesotans back to work, provided that workplaces meet certain guidelines laid out here. Any business that wants to resume operation has to have a COVID-19 preparedness plan that meets OSHA and CDC guidelines for safety and social distancing. You can learn more about this development from this article.

Moving Forward with Caution

Governor Walz underscored that navigating through this crisis is a marathon. Resuming a semblance of normalcy is not a matter of flipping a switch and resuming work and recreation as we once pursued them. We must have a thoughtful and gradual approach to how we move forward, otherwise we will quickly lose all of our progress we have worked so hard to gain. Governor Walz laid out a comprehensive list of criteria and considerations being used to make decisions. Chief among them were the intersections of the safety of Minnesotans through continued social distancing and staying home unless necessary, the preservation of public health and ensuring our hospitals do not become overwhelmed, and the social and economic wellbeing of all Minnesotans.

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We will get through this, and I am grateful to Governor Walz, our workers on the front lines, and our state agency commissioners for all the work that is being done to position Minnesota as a leader in slowing the spread of this disease. Minnesota is constantly evaluating the available data and guidance from public health experts in order to make decisions that evolve based on real time assessments of the situation in our state.

Everything is subject to change. It is important that we are as prepared as possible for these changing circumstances, and that our decisions are being made in a deliberate, informed manner that is inclusive of stakeholders, and is based on the best available scientific understanding of this health crisis.

Keep in Touch

As always, I am here to assist you in any way I am able. I am honored to be able to spend much of my day every day directly talking to people who are experiencing food insecurity, housing instability, difficulties navigating through Minnesota's unemployment system, or who just need someone to talk to.

Please contact me anytime with questions, input, or ideas. You can reach me at my Facebook page, by phone at 651-296-4212, or by email (preferred and quickest response) at  rep.hunter.cantrell@house.mn. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance!

Sincerely,

Hunter Cantrell

Your Neighbor and State Representative

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